An Overview of the Orthodox Faith

The Orthodox Church

is a worldwide communion of Christians who trace their spiritual and theological heritage in an unbroken line back to the Apostles. Some important characteristics of Orthodox Christian life are:

Holiness

We believe that God desires to share our human life to the fullest degree. It is possible for people to experience the transfiguration of their whole lives by God’s grace. We see this transfiguration in the lives of the saints. We also believe that God blesses time, places and things, and uses them to make us aware of his loving presence.

Beauty

God is communicated through beauty. Beauty touches us in all areas of our life in Church, especially through the icons and music. Icons express our belief that God has become a human being because he wanted to ‘fill all things with joy’.

Prayer

We are told to ‘Pray without ceasing’(I Thes 5:7) Our tradition gives us innumerable ways of prayer: daily prayers which fit with the 24 hours of the day, prayers for various occasions, and a short prayer which repeatedly calls on the Name of Christ, (the Jesus Prayer). Our most important prayer is the Divine Liturgy at which the community,the whole Church and all of humankind are offered to God and are blessed by him. Receiving Holy Communion at the Divine Liturgy after preparation and fasting unites us to one another in the Body of Christ.